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January 1, 2011
Two waste products — carbon dioxide and industrial wastes — are combined to obtain marketable mineral products in a process being developed by startup company CarbonX Inc. (Santa Barbara, Calif.; The process produces precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) and silica from such wastes as steel industry slag and flyash from lignite-fired power plants, cement kilns and municipal...
January 1, 2011
A new system for detecting chemical or biological contaminants in water is made possible by analyzing the swimming pathways of one-celled protozoa that are introduced into the water sample. Alterations of the protozoa’s swimming mechanics, relative to a clean water control, indicate the presence of toxins. The Swimming...
January 1, 2011
  Last month, Outotec Oyj (Espoo, Finland; commissioned a new CO2-removal pilot plant at its R&D center in Frankfurt, Germany. The unit compliments the companys circulating...
January 1, 2011
  Betaine production A new process that produces natural betaine is being scaled up by Novasep Process (Pompey, France; and Danisco (Copenhagen, Denmark; The plant will be the first to exploit a new extraction process that uses vinasse — a byproduct of sugar-beet-derived bioethanol. The process incorporates Daniscos proprietary NS2P chromatography technology...
January 1, 2011
Many of you know of a company — perhaps your own employer — that has recently commercialized an innovative process, product, or other chemical-engineering development. If so, we would like to hear from you. Nominations are open for this magazine’s 2011 Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Award. We aim to honor the most-noteworthy chemical engineering technology commercialized...
January 1, 2011
In recent years, a number of factors have further emphasized the importance of solvent selection in the chemical process industries (CPI). These include the increasing regulatory scrutiny leveled on industrial solvents, and an effort by CPI companies to reduce the environmental, health and safety (EHS) impact of their solvent use. In addition, specialized, high-performance solvents are available for some...
January 1, 2011
Some columns sway with the wind; some columns sway with the waves. In fact, hundreds of columns now reside offshore, on platforms and on barges. Most dry and sweeten gases. Some distill. The trays and packing distributors of such columns are regularly, appreciably out of level. Sloshing occurs. The packings are regularly, appreciably off vertical. Some of what we know about the design of such columns...
January 1, 2011
Questions of CE history I was digging through some old files in my office and came across a February 5, 1962 publication of Chemical Engineering. It’s in good condition and I have now framed it and placed it on my wall in my office. Kinda neat. I was curious to know when was Chemical Engineering’s first publication and which number the one I have might be. — David Naydyhor ICL Performance...
January 1, 2011
The range of synthetic biology tools available for manipulating microbial metabolic pathways has expanded significantly in the past decade, opening new routes to chemical products. But the development challenges associated with strain development, as well as scaling up effective fermentation processes remain. Companies manufacturing biofuels, bio-based chemical intermediates, natural products and...
January 1, 2011
 Figure 1. Experts anticipate the new EPA standards regarding SO2 will likely increase capital and engineering costs SOLVAir Solutions Last June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA; Washington, D.C.) strengthened the primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for sulfur dioxide by establishing a new one-hour standard at a level of 75 parts per billion (ppb). Previous primary...
January 1, 2011
A complete, modular system for flow chemistry      Syrris   Launched last November at the First RSC/SCI Symposium on continuous processing and flow chemistry, the Asia range of flow chemistry systems (photo) is scalable and modular. Commercially available next February, the Asia system covers wide temperature (–15 to 300°C) and pressure (0–20 bars) ranges, and safely...
January 1, 2011
      Yeghnazar        Hubbard        Allard        Dalton        Way     Clifford Johnson, formerly of NACE International, is now president of the Pipeline Research Council International (Falls Church, Va.). Andrew Yeghnazar is named president of Blacoh Fluid Control (Riverside, Calif.).   John...
January 1, 2011
  This level pressure transmitter is ideal for high-purity applications Endress+Hauser The Deltapilot FMB 70 hydrostatic, level pressure transmitter (photo) is particularly suitable for food, beverage, dairy and pharmaceutical applications. Its watertight pressure-measuring cell and 316L stainless-steel housing with polycarbonate sight glass withstand the harsh washdown environments needed in these...
January 1, 2011
Although plant safety should be a top priority every day, there are certain times when extra vigilance is needed to make sure that safety practices are being maintained. This article outlines three periods deemed to be “critical” for plant safety and specific items to pay attention to in these periods.     Three critical periods The following three phases in a production plant’s...
January 1, 2011
History is a constant reminder that accidents and catastrophic events can and do occur in process environments. As processes become more complex (for instance, allowing for greater operating temperatures and pressures to be used) and existing basic process control systems (BPCS) and safety systems age, risk reduction becomes more challenging. Regulations from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Admin...
January 1, 2011
The reboiler generally supplies most of the energy required to effect component separation. If too much heat is supplied, the tower may flood; conversely, if too little heat is available, separation performance may decrease via poor reflux ratio (pinching), excessive weeping or poor tray action. Proper design of reboiling systems involves coordinating aspects both outside and inside the tower. This article...
January 1, 2011
Plant Watch Dow to increase ethane cracking capabilities December 3, 2010 — The Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, Mich.; plans to increase ethane cracking capabilities on the U.S. Gulf Coast and improve its ethane cracking capabilities by 20–30% over the next two to three years. In addition, Dow announced it is reviewing joint venture (JV) options for building a natural gas liquids (NGL)...
January 1, 2011
Agglomeration is the process of converting fine powder particles into larger particles by the introduction of external forces. Agglomeration is often desirable because the process yields a product that has a higher bulk density, contains less dust, and has improved flowability. Figure 1 shows samples of fine potash powder and powder that has been agglomerated.  Figure 1. Fine potash powder is one...
January 1, 2011
With productivity, growth and reliability as constant drivers, the proactive evaluation of all machinery is critically important. In order to gain useful insight, the maintenance team must capture comprehensive data related to machinery operation and carry out a logical interpretation of the data. The conventional language of equipment components — vibration — transmits relevant information...
December 2, 2010
Catalyst recycling A new process for selectively dissolving either palladium or gold from mixed-metal catalyst systems could offer a way to improve recycling of those materials. In traditional noble-metal recycling with aqua regia (mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids), metals are often dissolved together, which introduces impurities into the recycled metals. Now scientists at the Georgia Institute of...
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